"We have significant concerns that CMS wants to increase the measures, and it essentially requires tripling the workload," Brennan says. "It's increasingly frustrating for members in the program.
It's one thing to jump hoops to earn bonus points, and then another to have to jump through hoops to avoid being penalized. That's a different story." MGMA urges CMS to finalize "more achievable criteria" for both earning a 2014 PQRS incentive and avoiding a 2016 penalty.
Indeed, CMS is moving forward before it can "ensure the accuracy and stability of the performance scoring of the cost and quality measures," the AAMC stated, adding its concerns about the proposals for the Physician Quality Reporting System.
While CMS is reviewing data and collecting information from physicians, CMS has shown no indication that it has the time to properly evaluate what it receives before it seeks new measures. Physicians have trouble keeping pace. "There is no time to make improvements, or do anything else," says Wheatley of AAMC. Once the information is collected, there are many questions wrapped around it, like, "what are the details behind it?"
Whether CMS acknowledges the physician complaints remains to be seen. Overall, however, Wheatley says, [CMS] has a very good record of trying to seek feedback."
Feedback is one thing, she acknowledges. Whatever final changes CMS makes will be the key toward potential outcomes for physician payments in 2014. "We aren't there yet," Wheatley says.